Saturday, June 4, 2011

Insight from Shel

T recently made me a new compact disk for use in the car.  It is a disk of Shel Silverstein poems from "Where the Sidewalk Ends" and "The Light in the Attic" performed by the author himself.  Shel's reading of his works is strangely soothing and almost magical, not to mention creative genius.  The car has been virtually silent (say what?) the past few car rides, as the kids are transfixed just listening to the poems.  

Amidst the fabulous silliness of Shel's poems, there is also a lot of ironic wisdom.  One of the poems we listened to today struck me as being particularly insightful and poignant.  Silverstein fans will know the poem well:

The Little Boy and the Old Man
by Shel Silverstein

Said the little boy, "Sometimes I drop my spoon." 
Said the old man, "I do that too." 
The little boy whispered, "I wet my pants." 
"I do that too," laughed the little old man. 
Said the little boy, "I often cry." 
The old man nodded, "So do I." 
"But worst of all," said the boy, "it seems Grown-ups don't pay attention to me." 
And he felt the warmth of a wrinkled old hand. 
"I know what you mean," said the little old man.

Tonight at dinner I sat between my 90 year old grandmother and my 2 year old son.  I noted how, as always, Papa and MoMo treated E-Bear and GG with the utmost respect and care, listening carefully to them in conversation, assisting with menus, and attending to physical limitations.  The world doesn't treat the very young and very old this way.  This is one of the many reasons I admire my parents tremendously.  This is one of their many qualities I wish I could perfectly reflect.  

May our family always be a haven for the very young and very old, 
for one has all the innocence, and the other, the experience,
and both are a treasure to behold.

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